Heh, also known as "HEH", is a common word used in the Doom community. While sometimes a response to something mildly humorous, it is more likely used as a term of acknowledgment. However, this can also be disputed, and just a by-product of community members' boredom. Urban Dictionary gives many definitions of the word, from "half laugh, semi-cynical connotation, used on IRC by those too cool to say lol" to "Coversational putty, used mainly on IRC to smoothen the flow of chat. Can be used to acknowledge another person's speech, while not actually responding to it."
History of Heh
No one is really sure where heh came from, only that it is here to stay. It likely jumped over from IRC and forums in the late 90s, when the community had mingled about with Something Awful, one of the first popular Internet community sites and forums. Indeed; some of the original Doomworld members had memberships in Something Awful Forums.
Since heh was being used in this distinct manner all the way until the mid 00s, it could be used as a proof of identity, for better or for worse. Since lol was largely common as the response of choice, acknowledgement of heh at all from other communities indicated that some knew of the heh meme, but rejected it in favor of their own community catchphrases and mannerisms, or already established ones. Notable communities that used heh besides the Doom Community include: Something Awful Forums, DigitalMZX Forums (who also had users from SA), and the original 4chan community (which was itself an offshoot of SA).
Heh is still kicking, but will never reach the levels it once had. Thanks to memetic transmission, heh has spread throughout the Internet, and now can be argued that it never was really the Doom community's meme in the first place.
During Doomworld Forums' infancy, a lot of posters spammed the forums hoping to raise their then-low post counts. While most just spammed topics with randomness, some created what was known as "Heh Trains", or forum threads that consisted of heh and nothing else. Some of these threads grew to hundreds of pages, including one in the Losers subforum on Doomworld. It is rumored that this same thread still exists, but only a select few can add their car to the train.
Occasionally, heh trains can happen on Doom IRC channels. They cannot be produced at will; they are usually spontaneous. Since spamming "heh" will attract the ire of auto-kick bots, it must involve more than 3 people. Heh trains are to be savored as an old Doom community ritual. If you see one, consider yourself blessed with the power of heh.
If you see a heh train
- DON'T PANIC. Let the heh train pick up steam first if you're worried about spamming. once momentum has started, feel free to heh along. If you are still worried, wait until a chanop heh's. Unless you are a total newbie, this won't cause a problem.
- DON'T HEH TWICE. If you do this, members will likely take note and accuse you of trying to derail the train.
The song heh.mp3 was created by fredrik in the early 2000s. It consisted of a robotic voice saying "heh". It has since been lost on the Internet, but a few people may still have a copy of it.